24 May 2021 15:34

Russia and China tentatively agree to adapt their crewed spacecraft to each other's super heavy-lift LVs

MOSCOW. May 24 (Interfax) - Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) have reached a verbal agreement to adapt their crewed spacecraft to each other's super heavy-lift launch vehicles (LV), the Russian state space corporation's Executive Director for Science Alexander Bloshenko told Interfax.

"We have already had a discussion on the possibility of adapting our super heavy-lift launch vehicle to their, Chinese, spacecraft and vice versa - their spacecraft to our super heavy-lift LV," Bloshenko said.

The parties will now have to seal their agreement with relevant protocols and technical research conclusions, he said.

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin first came up with this idea on March 17.

"I believe it's quite possible that, provided the political will, our spaceship could be adapted to their rocket and vice versa, their spaceship could be adapted to ours," Rogozin said.

Roscosmos said on March 9 that Russia and China had signed a memorandum on building an international lunar research station.

Roscosmos said in January that Russia had quit the U.S. lunar project Gateway.

Rogozin said on Twitter on October 19, 2020, that Roscosmos and CNSA had held a videoconference on bilateral cooperation, "including the lunar research program."

Rogozin said in July 2020 that negotiations on building a joint lunar base were being conducted with China. He noted that other countries, among them the United States, might be invited to join the project.